In all of the years I’ve been running Head for Points, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a deal get as much attention – globally – as the Iberia ‘90,000 Avios for booking 10 flights you don’t need to fly’ offer this weekend.
We’ve certainly had good Tesco Direct deals in the past which were more generous, such as 2,400 Avios (1,000 Clubcard points) for a £10 printer ink which you could resell on eBay. These were glitches and got no attention outside the UK. This deal is NOT a mistake – Iberia has been keen to tell us that! – and it is getting huge amounts of traction across the world.
You can book the Iberia deal here if you still want to jump in or find out more.
- You get 9,000 Avios for every Iberia, Iberia Express or Air Nostrum flight you book by 11pm UK time on Sunday
- You can earn up to 90,000 Avios per Iberia Plus account
- You must book on iberia.com
- Your booking must include your Iberia Plus frequent flyer number
- Your 9,000 bonus Avios will arrive within 10 days
- Iberia has confirmed that you do not have to take the flights – you won’t lose the Avios if you don’t
- One-way flights work fine
So …. if you can find 10 cheap one-way flights on iberia.com for €25 each (Santander to or from Madrid still had availability at that price last night, obviously prices are lowest in Winter) then you are getting 90,000 Avios cheaply.
There are restrictions on using these Avios and I STRONGLY recommend reading my article from yesterday here before booking.
Let’s put the deal in context
I am guessing that between 50,000 and 100,000 seats will be booked under this promotion. If you think that sounds high, remember that it only requires 5,000 to 10,000 people to book their full quota to hit that number. You also need to remember that non-UK frequent flyer sites have been going crazy over this deal too – virtually all of them, I have to say, giving less focus to the potential downside risks than we have.
What would 100,000 booked seats mean?
Iberia Group carries 85,000 passengers per day, so this equates to over one full day of passenger numbers!
If you assume all of the bookings are for Q4 2018 and Q1 2019, as that is when fares are cheapest, it will add 0.6% to Iberia’s load factor for those two quarters (management bonuses all round!)
If Iberia pays 0.75p per Avios to Avios Group (which is my best guess) then it will have to hand over £6,750,000 to AGL
Assuming an average ticket price of £20, Iberia will therefore lose £4,750,000, albeit IAG overall sees no loss
The promotion seems to have wiped out every single Iberia seat priced at under €20 for the next 12 months, and a large proportion of those priced under €25
Iberia will see a disproportionately high number of ‘no shows’ over the next year which could have a longer term impact on planning as they will lose track of the ‘genuine’ no show rate which is how they decide how much they can oversell a flight
It is all very odd and, frankly, probably beyond anything that Iberia thought would happen. There will be some interesting discussions in Madrid on Monday. Iberia cannot realistically go back on the deal, however, given that it briefed various websites including Head for Points on Friday about how the offer worked.
You can book via the special offer page here if you still want to give it a go before 11pm tonight. (I’m saying 11pm because that is midnight in Spain and I think Iberia will use that as the closing time.)
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (January 2021)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
There are two official British Airways American Express cards:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.
If you have a small business, we especially recommend Capital On Cap’s Visa card which comes with a generous bonus worth 10,500 Avios:
(Want to earn more Avios? Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)